There are three games for Tuesday’s DraftKings NBA playoff slate, which starts at 7:30 p.m. ET. DraftKings Sportsbook has the Boston Celtics as 9.5-point underdogs against the Brooklyn Nets, while the Los Angeles Lakers are two-point favorites against the Phoenix Suns and the Dallas Mavericks are seven-point underdogs against the Los Angeles Clippers. The O/U is 228 for Celtics-Nets, 210 for Lakers-Suns, and 216 for Mavericks-Clippers.
Let’s break down some of the top studs and values at each position to help you build your DraftKings lineups.
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Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks at Los Angeles Clippers, $10,600 – Doncic had stretches of being underwhelming during the regular season as he’d put up 30-40 DKFP for a week. It’s playoff time now, though, so it would be surprising if he scored fewer than 50 DKFP going forward. He will likely play over 40 minutes per game and garner a usage rate of over 30%. He triple-doubled in Game 1 against the Clippers, putting up 71.5 DKFP, and will be a threat every night.
Other Options – James Harden ($10,200), Kyrie Irving ($8,800), Kemba Walker ($7,200)
Jalen Brunson, Dallas Mavericks at Los Angeles Clippers, $4,300 – Brunson doesn’t start but he’s an important part of the Mavericks’ rotation. He will play in the low-to-mid 20-minute range but the usage rate will be in the same area code when he’s on the floor. During the regular season, he averaged 0.93 DKFP per minute and went for at least 20 DKFP in 10 of the last 12 games. In Game 1, Brunson played 21 minutes and contributed 15 points, one rebound, and two assists, good for 18.75 DKFP.
Other Options – Rajon Rondo ($4,500)
James Harden, Brooklyn Nets vs. Boston Celtics, $10,200 – In Game 1 against the Celtics, Harden put up 53.75 DKFP. Yawn. He contributed 21 points, nine rebounds, eight assists, four steals, and one block. YAWN. Keep in mind that he missed 19 of the prior 21 games and only played 25 and 26 minutes in the two games he did play. The rust was apparent as he shot 5-for-13 from the field and 2-for-8 from downtown. During the regular season, Harden averaged 1.5 DKFP per minute so a floor of 50 DKFP seems viable with room for upside.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Los Angeles Lakers at Phoenix Suns, $4,400 – Caldwell-Pope only averages 0.66 DKFP per minute and the usage rate is in the 13% range. That said, he played 35 minutes in Game 1 and 33 minutes during the play-in game with Golden State. He should continue to play in the low-to-mid 30s and minutes are half the battle. Yo, Joe! There is a modicum of upside as he’s gone for at least 30 DKFP seven times this season with a high of 42.75, but expectations should be somewhere around 20 DKFP.
Other Options – Joe Harris ($4,800)
Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers vs. Dallas Mavericks, $8,300 – Kawhi is just too cheap. He played 41 minutes in Game 1 and garnered a usage rate of 31%. He logged 22 field goal attempts and contributed 10 rebounds, five assists, and four steals. That translated to 56 DKFP. As I said, he is just too cheap for the minutes, usage, and 1.31 DKFP per minute he averages.
Other Options – Luka Doncic ($10,600), LeBron James ($10,100), Kevin Durant ($9,300)
Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Lakers, $3,600 – Johnson missed the last six games of the regular season but returned for Game 1 against the Lakers and played 23 minutes. He contributed 10 points, six rebounds, one assist, and two steals, good for 23.5 DKFP. During the season, Johnson averaged 0.77 DKFP per minute so we shouldn’t expect a similar output. That said, it’s encouraging that he played that many minutes and makes him more than viable, especially at this price.
Other Options – Nicolas Batum ($3,800), Jae Crowder ($4,300), Dorian Finney-Smith ($4,700), Joe Harris ($4,800)
Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets vs. Boston Celtics, $9,300 – Durant is so freaking good. He can get his shot off against anyone, has the handles of a guard, possesses the wingspan of Mrs. Incredible to snatch rebounds, and is nimble enough to guard Jayson Tatum and shut him down. In Game 1 against the Celtics, he put up 32 points, 12 rebounds, one assist, one block, and one steal, good for 52.5 DKFP. The usage rate was a whopping 39%. Now, the ceiling is capped to some degree because of the presence of Harden and Kyrie but the floor is super high.
Other Options – Jayson Tatum ($9,800)
Dorian Finney-Smith, Dallas Mavericks at Los Angeles Clippers, $4,700 – Finney-Smith starts and played 37 minutes in Game 1. Yo, Joe! The usage rate was only 14% and he averages 0.7 DKFP per minute. That said, he contributes a little something in every category which provides a relatively safe floor. When he hits the limited shot attempts that he receives, he can access some semblance of ceiling. In Game 1, he put up 30.25 DKFP.
Other Options – Cameron Johnson ($3,600), Nicolas Batum ($3,800), Jae Crowder ($4,300)
Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers at Phoenix Suns, $9,600 – Davis was awful in Game 1, shooting 5-for-16 from the field. Some credit needs to go to the Suns’ defense but a lot of the blame is on Davis, as he wasn’t aggressive and settled. I expect him to bounce back in a big way tonight. Early in May, these teams met and Davis went for 77 DKFP, as he shot 13-for 27 from the field and 15-for-17 from the free-throw line. He also grabbed 12 rebounds, dished out five assists, and was a menace a defense, racking up three steals and three blocks.
Other Option – Deandre Ayton ($6,100)
Maxi Kleber ($3,400) or Dwight Powell ($3,600), Dallas Mavericks at Los Angeles Clippers – Kleber is questionable for this game due to an Achilles issue. If he starts, I like him a lot as he played 36 minutes last game and contributed 23.75 DKFP. If he’s unable to go, then Powell would likely get the start and slide right into his role. On the season, Kleber averages 0.69 DKFP while Powell is at 0.87.
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